For immediate release: Thursday, July 26
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A Paterson diocese Catholic priest has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a girl.
This is a tragic reminder that every day, clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Catholic church continue to happen, largely because the church hierarchy refuses to make real reforms. It’s also a painful reminder that - despite bishops’ claims that most victims are boys – girls are also hurt by Catholic predators.
We applaud this brave, strong girl for fighting the priest off and helping law enforcement officials pursue him. That takes real courage.
We beg Paterson’s bishop to personally visit every parish where this priest worked and strongly prod any others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Lopez’s crimes to call police immediately. The bishop should shove aside his defense lawyers and public relations professionals and act like a caring shepherd, not a cold-hearted CEO.